10 Useful Tips for Hiring Affordable Roofing Contractor

Exterior remodeling project photo after strong HardiePlank lap siding and roof repair in Medinah

The process of having a new roof installed might seem daunting, but the results are definitely worth it, especially when you pick the right contractor. For some homeowners, choosing the right contractor is actually the most challenging part. To make your roofing project worry-free, consider the following tips on landing the right roofing contractor.

1) Go local

When you choose a local contractor, you can easily check out their work. Just ask for references and see for yourself what they have done. If you know exactly what type of roofing system you are having installed, ask specifically to see their work with that system. For example, if you’re going with a cedar shake roof, make sure the bulk of their previous work you see is related to that material.

2) Beware of storm chasers

Some might see it as confident contractors doing everything they can to assist those recently affected by a big storm, but to others, the door-to-door type of sales pitch is more canvassing than anything else. That’s not to say that these aren’t reputable contractors – just check around with others if they made a good impression with you, and do all the regular due diligence to ensure they’ve got what it takes to tackle your job.

3) Only choose insured contractors

Don’t just take their word for it – ask to see certificates that prove they’re insured and have workers compensation. And ask them what level of insurance they have as some states have a minimum of $1 million as their requirement.

4) Licensing required

In Illinois, roofing contractors are required to have a license issued by the Department of Professional Regulation. They can have a residential; or a residential, commercial and industrial; or a commercial and industrial license. Contractors awarded these licenses have passed a state exam, can show proof of insurance and post a $10,000 surety bond.

5) Who is supervising the job?

You can’t really expect the owner of the company to be on your job site (though that might be the case), but there is often a project manager directing workflow and ensuring that everything is being done to local and state code. The best teams have worked together on numerous jobs and have developed a good flow for a fast yet expert installation of roofing systems.

6) Don’t focus on price alone

The most expensive bids don’t mean they’re coming from the most qualified contractor. The least expensive bids don’t always come from the least qualified contractor. While staying in your budget is important, don’t choose your roofing contractor based on price alone. However, keep in mind that cheap bids drive down the market, and anyone who has all the necessary insurance is making enough to pay for it. Also, remember that cheap work from part-time roofers can sometimes mean inferior installation, which equates to fewer years of roof life.

7) Be empowered

It’s your time and your money – don’t forget that. You’re in charge of the project in so much that you need to be the one being pleased. If they ask for all the money up front, walk away. Many will ask for a deposit to purchase materials and pay laborers, and that’s fine, but remember that they are there to satisfy you. Also, discuss the terms of payment and make sure you’re comfortable with everything.

8) Be mindful of their communication skills

When you first made contact with a contractor, what was their response? When you had questions, were they fully answered? Did they send over documentation in a reasonable amount of time? Were they thorough in their bid and explain to you everything in it? Look for an effective communicator, because that’s what you want to have when installation day arrives and you’ve got questions you need answered.

9) Utilize the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) keeps tabs on contractors and can spare you a horrible one. For example, let’s say the contractors have a dazzling salesman that says all the right things, yet when you check with the BBB, their ratings show nothing but grief. The BBB can help you dodge a bullet, so look up your contractors’ ratings at BBB.org.

10) Get everything in writing

Every detail about the job should be laid out in front of you – documented for your records. For example, how long will the job take and what is the final cost? That should be in writing. Most reputable contractors don’t expect to be paid in full until the final walkthrough is done and you’re happy with the work. That should be in writing, as well.

Choose a trusted roofing contractor

At VIS Exterior, we have worked hard to prove that our reputation is almost as important as our client satisfaction. We are dedicated to protecting your home with top-quality roofing materials and system, which can be installed on any house of any size. If you have questions about roofing materials, contact us and let’s talk about what we have to offer, then schedule a free inspection so we can get a better idea of what will work for your home.